LOCATION : Elgin, Illinois
MARKET : Residential
Affordable Housing

1212 Larkin is a proposed integrated permanent supportive housing project in Elgin, Illinois. The proposed development will consist of 48 units in 12 new-construction, multifamily apartment buildings, and the preservation and historic reuse of the former Larkin Center. It is targeted to serve populations with special needs, and working families, reaching a broad range of Elgin renters in need of affordable housing.

The $19 million project to turn the former Larkin Center property into housing for people with disabilities and affordable housing received unanimous approval from the Elgin City Council, permits have been issued, and construction has begun.

Full Circle Communities plans to renovate the former Larkin Center, built in 1912 as an orphanage, into apartments for people with disabilities. The three-story historic building at 1212 Larkin Ave. dates back to 1912 and sits on 3.4 acres with three other buildings, including a former dormitory. The Larkin Center building has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

All restoration and rehabilitation work will conform to historic rehabilitation standards established by the U.S. Department of Interior. When completed, the building will have a community room, fitness center, library/study room, computer lab, laundry, storage and office space for the Association for Individual Development (AID). AID, based in Aurora with an office in Elgin, will have a full-time resident coordinator on site to help develop programs helping residents with things like financial counseling, tax preparation and connections to first-time home buyer programs for working families, officials said.

Full Circle is also building 12 new two-story residential buildings on the 3.4-acre parcel at 1212 Larkin Avenue. The 12 buildings recall an older, typical Elgin neighborhood and will be Georgian Revival style to be compatible the center's architecture. A total of 47 units will be available.

Redeveloping the center lets local residents with disabilities remain in the neighborhoods they know and love, Lindsey Haines, Full Circle's vice president for real estate development. "It's amazing what a doorway that is wide enough, an elevator and accessible bathroom can do to change a person's life," Haines said at the time. "It's so important because 94 percent of housing in Elgin was built before ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements and have limited" features for the disabled. AID has 500 clients waiting for the right housing options, she said.

"I've driven by this place for 40 years and I'm excited to see what it's going to become," Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said Friday.